The garage door is one of the most important parts of a home. It keeps your car and the other belongings behind it safe and secure. But, over time, it can get dirty and covered in gunk. Here’s how to clean a garage door so that it not only gets the job done – but looks great while doing it, too.
What You'll Learn Today
- Why Clean Your Garage Door?
- What is the Best Way to Clean a Garage Door?
- Unique Garage Cleaning Problems
- How to Restore Faded Garage Door
- How Often Should I Clean My Garage Door?
Why Clean Your Garage Door?
Cleaning your garage door should be done often, especially if you live in a harsh environment. That might include a coastal environment where salt spray and wind are issues, or even one that receives a lot of snow.
Exposure to salt and other elements can rapidly erode the finish of a garage door and lead to costly repairs.
Cleaning your garage door will help to protect and prolong the finish. It can remove dirt and grime that make your door look dingy – and reduce the frequency with which you need to refinish wooden doors.
On garage doors made out of other materials, regular cleaning can help to prevent rust.
For any kind of garage door, a regular cleaning will allow you to inspect the door for any damages or mechanical issues.
It will also help to maintain your warranty, if you have one, and improve your curb appeal – something that’s absolutely necessary if you plan on selling your home.
What is the Best Way to Clean a Garage Door?
Now that you know the benefits of cleaning your garage door – the “why” – let’s tackle the “how.”
Gather Your Materials
To clean your garage door, gather materials such as a cleaning solution, step ladder, and non-abrasive cloths and sponges.
Use a mild detergent like dishwasher soap or car wash soap. Use an option that is noticed and has less than 0.5% phosphate. A biodiesel cleaner is another good option. Combine a cup of liquid soap with two gallons of warm water in a bucket.
Avoid adding bleach, no matter how dingy your doors might be (yes, even if they’re white). You can use bleach to tackle stuck-on stains later on, but it should never be used as the first line of defense. Most importantly, it shouldn’t be mixed with any other household cleaners.
Make sure your cleaning clothes are clean and won’t scour the door. Have some dry clothes on hand to dry off your door once you’re done washing it.
Apply Soap and Scrub
Cleaning the garage door is relatively straightforward – your next step is to climb up on your ladder (if your door is tall) and start scrubbing!
Put some elbow grease into it, scrubbing hard to remove caked-on dirt. If you happen to encounter any tough stains, you can use bleach to get rid of it. Just don’t mix the cleaning solution with the bleach as this can strip your finish.
As you scrub, be sure to tackle the weatherstripping and trim. These areas often gather lots of dirt and debris, making them a prime target for wear and tear. You’ll want to clean both the interior and exterior of the door while you’re at it.
Waxing the Garage Door
Depending on the materials out of which your garage door is made, you may also need to apply a coat of wax. Steel doors should be waxed after they are cleaned to protect the finish.
Liquid wax is a good idea – paste wax can damage the door.
Wax isn’t necessary for other types of doors but it can help protect the finish, so consider this extra step if you want to prolong the amount of time between cleaning and finishing your garage door.
Can I Pressure Wash My Garage Door?
You should not use a pressure washer to clean your garage door, as this can damage the finish and integrity of your door. The power of the water is just too intense for the door – instead, use some elbow grease and the detergents mentioned above.
Can I Use a Magic Eraser on a Garage Door?
A Magic Eraser has some serious “magical” powers when it comes to cleaning other areas of your home – so it should come as no surprise that it works wonders when cleaning the garage door, too.
You can use the Magic Eraser to get rid of scuffs, weather wear, or even larger build-ups on your door – just give it a bit of elbow grease and always make sure you dry the door after you’re done cleaning it.
Unique Garage Cleaning Problems
Sometimes, you might find that your garage door is particularly dingy – and is afflicted by very specific kinds of problems. Here are some approaches to these challenging situations.
How Do You Clean Mold off a Garage Door?
If you have mold on your garage door, you can get rid of it by using detergent – but you can also use hydrogen peroxide, distilled white vinegar, or even a commercial mold remover product. Just make sure whatever you use is listed as being safe for your specific garage door material.
White vinegar is one of the best products when it comes to removing mold. Not only is it effective at getting rid of it, but it leaves behind no odors and is completely non-toxic and safe to use.
How Do You Clean a Chalky Garage Door?
Again, dish detergent and water should do the trick when it comes to getting rid of chalk residue on a door. In some cases, you may need to rely on bleach – just make sure you dilute it with water and don’t mix it with any household cleaners. Wear gloves when you use it!
How to Clean Grease Off Garage Door
If it’s grease that’s giving you a problem, you should be able to get rid of it with the dishwashing soap mentioned above. Tide laundry detergent can also be helpful. You shouldn’t need to resort to expensive degreasers or chemicals to get rid of it – a bit of elbow grease should do the trick!
On the other hand, some grease is good for maintaining your door opening/closing mechanism, so be aware of that.
How to Restore Faded Garage Door
Once you’ve got your garage door nice and clean, you might now find yourself faced with another problem – it’s looking awfully faded.
Here’s a quick video that will walk you through the process of restoring a dingy-looking garage door to its former luster – no paint required:
How Often Should I Clean My Garage Door?
The short answer to this question – whenever it gets dirty!
However, the reality is that most people probably aren’t cleaning their garage doors as often as they should. While it’s an easy task to forget – Americans are working longer hours than ever before – maintaining and caring for your garage door properly will help it last for decades.
By cleaning your garage door regularly, you can protect this crucial investment in your home and prolong its lifespan. Cleaning can prevent serious issues that might need to be prepared or replaced later on.
An hour spent cleaning your garage door twice per year (once in the fall and once in the spring) is plenty – and can help prevent the vast majority of problems.
While cleaning your garage door, it is important to consider the type of cleaner you are using. Be sure to avoid harsh chemicals and opt for a more gentle approach.
In addition, take the time to clean all of the parts of the door- not just the surface. By following these tips, you can keep your garage door looking new for years to come.